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What is the new EU heating standard and how does it affect you?

From January 2018, all electric heaters must comply with the new EcoDesign Lot 20 standard

Any new electric heaters sold in the EU will need to comply with an updated set of regulations from January 2018. The new legislation, EcoDesign Lot 20, is set to improve the efficiency and performance of electric heaters.

The aim of this legislation is to rule out inefficient technologies and reduce the energy used by the products that heat our homes, helping to achieve our overall carbon reduction targets.

Keep reading to find out whether you need to do anything if you already have an electric heating product, and what you need to know when you buy one – including what retailers might try to do to get you to buy a non-compliant model.

An electric heater can help you beat the cold. Don’t get stuck with a noisy model that racks up your energy bills – see our round-up of the best electric heaters.

What is EcoDesign Lot 20?

Lot 20 is a new piece of legislation for electrical heating products that aims to reduce the harm to the environment and produce ongoing energy savings for you, the consumer. Essentially, all heaters will have to incorporate intelligent room temperature controls to minimise wasted energy.

Efficiency is calculated by a simplified formula which assigns percentage bonuses or penalties, depending on what energy-saving features the product may have.

The rating will differ for different electric heater categories, however most electric heaters will start with a base rating of 30%.

For more details, go to EcoDesign Lot 20: Everything you need to know.

Which products are covered?

The legislation covers all space heaters manufactured and sold in the EU which use electricity, gaseous, or liquid fuels. This includes:

This does not include:

  • Space heaters that use heat pumps
  • Space heaters that are specified for outdoor use only
  • Tubular heaters
  • Towel rails
  • Frost protection heaters

What does this mean for my existing heater?

If you already own an electric heater, you don’t need to replace it. Any non-compliant electric heaters will no longer be manufactured after January 2018, but some retailers may still sell existing models after the date until stock levels have expired.

This means you don’t need to change any of your heaters right now, but just be mindful of replacements units in the future. All warranties, for compliant or non-compliant electric heaters, will still be honoured as normal.

When the time comes to get a new heater, don’t waste your money on one that doesn’t do the job. See our Don’t Buy electric heaters to find out which to avoid.

Dog laying on carpet, by electric heater. Dog looks like a Jack Russell.

What does this mean if I’m buying a new heater?

In theory, not much will change for you as a result of the new legislation. With manufacturers aiming to hit new efficiency targets, all the benefits are passed on to the consumer.

However, what might be useful to know is that some retailers may try to clear old non-compliant stock early in 2018. This could result in some initial savings when purchasing a new model, but you’ll end up paying for it in the long run on your energy bills.

Be wary of big sales or significant reductions in price; these heaters may or may not have the energy-saving features that are included in EcoDesign Lot 20 legislation.

If you’re looking to buy a new heater, but you’re not sure how much to spend, check our free advice on how to buy the best electric heater.

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